by Olena

Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Olena Osipov
5 from 62 votes

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast from fresh or frozen. 25 minutes from start to finish, simple ingredients and no saute.

This pressure cooker chicken breast is my go-to on a busy weeknight or weekend (who am I kidding?!). Often it becomes shredded chicken. Just like Instant Pot whole chicken is any mom’s best friend.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Breast

This Instant Pot chicken breast recipe is easy, simple and forgiving. Don’t you always have a pack of chicken breasts in your freezer?! Now you can make chicken breast in Instant Pot from fresh or frozen in 30 minutes.

I just love Instant Pot! It makes the best Instant Pot rice and beans with no soaking, lasagna with no need for a springform pan, the most tender Instant Pot beef stew with no need to saute and these easy Instant Pot steamed vegetables.

If you are new to pressure cooking, check out my Instant Pot guide. It explains what happens, why and how to avoid failures. If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet but are thinking about buying one, I explain which Instant Pot to buy in my humble opinion.

Also if you are not a blessed electric pressure cooker owner just yet, check out my baked chicken breast recipe. Same easy and simple. Also this honey garlic chicken would be good pan fried – in case you don’t have an oven.

What You Will Need

You really need only chicken breasts and water. Everything else is up to your taste and what you are planning to use cooked chicken breasts for.

If you are adding meat to salads, quesadillas and tostadas, I would not worry about seasonings much.

If you are planning to eat cooked chicken breast alongside quinoa or brown rice and salad (meal prep style), I would pay attention to spices.

  • Chicken breasts – fresh or frozen.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Garlic powder – if you wish.
  • Dried herbs – if you like.

How to Cook Fresh Chicken Breast in Instant Pot

  • Add 1 cup water.
  • Place trivet on top.
  • Lay chicken breasts in a single layer.
  • Sprinkle with spices.
  • Rub onto each other.
  • Press Pressure Cook on High for 10 minutes – under 2″ thickness and 15 minutes – over 2″ thick breasts.
  • Do Natural Release for 5 minutes and then turn pressure valve to Venting.

How to Cook Frozen Chicken Breast in Instant Pot

Cook frozen chicken breasts just like fresh but:

  • For 15 minutes.
  • Make sure each breast is separated.

If you add a blob of frozen chicken breasts, you will end up with raw meat inside and overcooked chicken outside.

When you bring fresh chicken from the store, line each breast with small piece of parchment paper before adding to a bag and freezing. Thaw for 5 minutes or run under cold water for easy parchment paper removal.

Check out my Instant Pot frozen chicken breast recipe for detailed info.

What Size of Instant Pot Can I Use?

Any – 3 quart, 5 quart, 6 quart or 8 quart.

Same recipe. Same cooking time. Same water amount.

Just make sure chicken breasts fit in a single layer. If your Instant Pot is small and you want to cook large amount of breasts, do so in a few batches. Piling up chicken in a few layers will result in undercooked chicken.

Also note that larger pressure cooker (like mine – 8 quart) take longer to come to pressure – about 8-10 minutes.

Do I Have to Saute Breasts Before Cooking?

I just had to comment. Many recipes online ask you to saute chicken breast before pressure cooking in an effort “to lock in most of juices”. I can assure you I have cooked chicken breast in Instant Pot over 20 times and it comes out juicy if you follow my recipe.

Can I Cook Breasts with Bones?

Yes. Even with skin on, if you wish. Same amount of time.

Does Size of Breast Matter?

6 oz or 10 oz – doesn’t matter. 10 minutes or 15 minutes of pressure cooking is enough time to cook standard American supermarket chicken breasts.

Can I Cook Just One Breast?

Yes, you can. You can cook as many or as little fit into a single layer. Same cooking time.

What to Do with Cooked Chicken Breast

Before we go onto uses for cooked chicken breast major tip – save that broth on the bottom of the pot for making chicken soup or any soup. It is basically free chicken broth.:)

More Healthy Instant Pot Chicken Breast Recipes

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos.

Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

Instant Pot Chicken Breast

Juicy Instant Pot Chicken Breast from fresh or frozen. 25 minutes from start to finish, simple ingredients and no saute. Use for meal prep, quick dinner or you name it.
4.99 from 62 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 295kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs boneless chicken breasts fresh or frozen*
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • To the Instant Pot, add water and place trivet inside. Lay chicken breasts in a single layer (if using frozen make sure they are separated) and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly with tongs or hands.
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High for 10 minutes (under 2″ thickness) for fresh or 15 minutes for fresh (over 2″ thick) and frozen chicken breasts.
  • Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown will begin.
  • After 10-15 minutes your chicken is ready, Instant Pot will beep and display will say OFF. Wait 5 minutes and do Quick Release by turning sealing valve to Venting position.
  • Open the lid and your chicken breasts are ready for meal prep, casseroles, salads etc. Shred or cube, and save the stock at the bottom for soup.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in a fridge or on a counter.

      Video

      Notes

      • *If using frozen chicken breasts make sure they are separated. Think about it before freezing a whole tray, separate them with parchment paper.
      • Feel free to use chicken broth instead of water.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1breast | Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 383mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 141IU | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 1mg
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      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

      141 comments on “Instant Pot Chicken Breast

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      1. 5 stars
        I wanted to cook boneless, skinless chicken for enchiladas — this was a no-muss, no-fuss recipe, and super-quick! Thank you for this easy time saver! Now, I’ll have to check the website further and see if the same method works for chicken thighs.

      2. 5 stars
        I like this recipe. It’s easy and healthy. The stock at the bottom of the IP saves me from opening a whole can when I just use not even half of it. 👍👍👍

      3. 5 stars
        Love this easy way to cook Chicken Breast. Used to shy away from using the Breast meat because it can be dey, but not with the Instant Pot. Your recipe is simple, gave it to my son who believe me, is not a cook abd he is now hooked on making Chicken Breast this way. So much healthier for people living alone than fast food.
        Thank you so much for sharing.

      4. 5 stars
        I love to put my chicken breast in the ip while I chop onions, peppers, etc for chicken tortilla soup. By the time I’m finished chopping and sauteing the veggies, my chicken is cool enough to shred and addd to the soup. Quick prep for a hot, tasty meal on a cold night.

      5. 5 stars
        I love this channel she and her husband are delightful. Her recipes are simple to follow and dont usually use bizarre ingredients that you’re not likely to have on hand

      6. 5 stars
        So good and easy to cook the chicken. And I love how I can chicken stock in the liquid. The chicken meat was so moist!

      7. I followed the recipe exactly. I did 15 minutes with fresh chicken because they were thick. I tried it twice and both times the chicken were at least ten degrees below 165.

        1. If you do a quick release without waiting 5 minutes and check temp it will likely be 165 , for sure temp drops while waiting to do the quick realease

      8. Hello I received my pot as a gift so was wondering if there is a kit supply list of certain gadgets to go with my pot that didn’t come with it any suggestions? Thanks 🙏 again for this site so awesome and exciting

      9. 5 stars
        I just love how this recipe gives you a nicely cooked chicken breast that’s not undercooked or overcooked. I used frozen chicken breasts and they turned out juicy and fall apart texture.

      10. 5 stars
        Brilliant!!! Soooo easy, perfectly cooked from frozen and definitely not dry. Paired with your 10 minute spaghetti recipe. Loved by whole family!! You just made my life easier, thank you!!

      11. 5 stars
        Hi I just got my ip a few weeks ago and I was scared to ues it but then I made pull pork and it tune out really well. Than just last week I made chicken breast in it and omg it was so good and vary juicy with the spices and after I made a gravy from the juice it was really good I was happy with it

        1. I am interested in the gravy recipe. I have never made it before. I bet it is as good as you say.

          Thanks,
          Christina Musick

      12. 5 stars
        Another great instantpot success!
        Two lovely chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless, just over 1 lb.

        1 cup water, a sprinkle of tarragon, onion powder and s&p.

        Just as you said, “10 mins high pressure, 5 mins natural release” = perfect chicken for a salad tonight and a sandwich tomorrow. 😋

        Thank you Olena

      13. 5 stars
        I pretty much tried this recipe added a few things but it turned out awesome the times for cooking is correct and is very fast and easy

      14. 5 stars
        I followed your recipe and my chicken breasts were perfect! I shredded the breasts for a chicken enchilada recipe. Thank you for posting the recipe and instructions. They were very helpful.

      15. 5 stars
        I’ve used this as a guide for making chicken breasts of every kind of flavour you can imagine. Works perfectly every time- THANK YOU!

        1. I’m new to instant pot and I followed thecrecipe for the chicken. But it came out dry :/ I used 2 chicken breasts…. they were frozen, so I cooked it for 1 minute on high to defrost them enough to separate them before I started the recipe. Any tips? I’m at sea level so I don’t know if that has something to do with it.

          1. Maybe when you released pressure, it pulled some moisture from meat. But in any case try to add some of cooking liquid to shredded meat and it should be golden. Also some people find breast dry no matter what and it is lean.

      16. 5 stars
        I didn’t have chicken breasts on hand but had bone in chicken thighs. I put them on the trivet. I sprinkled with onion powder, garlic powder and thyme. For the liquid, I used 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup water. I set the setting for 15 minutes and then did the release. The chicken was delicious!!!

      17. 5 stars
        My favorite “Go To” supper – Instant Pot and Costco/Kirtland individually frozen chicken breast. I place then on vegetables with heaping teaspoon of Better Than Chicken Bouillon. The natural release is best on meats. Great way to make green chile chicken enchiladas.

      18. 5 stars
        My first new go-to recipe. I just bought my Instant Pot, so I was very happy that this dish came out tender, tasty, and healthy.

        Finding ifoodreal.com is like opening a treasure chest of ideas, recipes, inspiration, entertainment, and upbeat presentations by this very confident and accomplished cook. Thank you, Oleana! You are a pro, whether you claim to be or not.

      19. It doesn’t say when to add the 2 cups chicken broth in the instant pot chicken alfredo. Maybe the 2 cups of milk is suppose to be the chicken broth. I am so confused. Please help. I interpret 2 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of milk.

        1. Hello Sandra. Which recipe are you needing help with? You commented on the instant pot chicken breast (which calls for water).
          For the IP Chicken Alfredo, you add the broth in the first step (1.
          To Instant Pot, add chicken, stock, oil, salt and pepper.) Hope that helps.

      20. 5 stars
        Last week I used this recipe with frozen breasts and tonight I used it with thawed, turned out PERFECT both times! Thank you for making my life easier. ?

      21. 5 stars
        I i always use this recipe! It works! When I want shredded chicken I just throw my breast in the KitchenAid with the paddle and it’s shredded in about 1 minute!

      22. 5 stars
        This was the first thing I cooked with my new Instant Pot, and it turned out great! I cooked one chicken breast (it’s just me), and I just added a seasoning blend I already had. It was so juicy and delicious! I just wanted a basic recipe for cooking chicken breast because I knew nothing about how to use it, and all the recipes in the app were more complicated. I couldn’t find anything to tell me step-by-step how to cook just a chicken breast! So I got on Google, as you do now, and this was one of the first things that came up. I think I will be back very soon to learn how to cook other things!

      23. Can I cook my frozen chicken breast in 1 cup pasta sauce and no trivet with cabbage on top of chicken?
        Thank you,
        Jan

      24. 5 stars
        Chicken always turns out perfectly juicy! The seasoning I use varies every time I make this depending on what my plan is with it. Definitely a keeper!

      25. 5 stars
        Thank you for this clear and thorough recipe for how all the steps on how to cook chicken in an Instant Pot. Your instructions are way better than those of the pot itself, which I found confusing and incomplete. They should hire you to write their manuals. Thank you so much!! Tree

      26. 5 stars
        Excellent recipe, thank you! Your recipe was easy to follow and to the point. All too often when looking for recipes additional (not needed) information is added.
        Thank you

      27. 5 stars
        From rock hard frozen to juicy and delicious so quickly. We shredded the chicken and used for tacos, yum. Thanks for the recipe! You rock!

      28. 5 stars
        So glad I found you! I tried the recipe with plain breasts to shred and freeze for use later in tacos, enchiladas, etc. I was wondering if you can make two layers (on two stackable trivets) to cook more chicken at one time?

      29. 4 stars
        With only 2 of us at home I have a 4quart pressure cooking pot. I bought a pkg of the skinless 2 breast chicken and stuck it in the freezer 3 weeks ago and thawed it yesterday. I had no idea what I was going to do with it. This afternoon I found a McCormick marinade package (garlic, wine & herb) and decided to marinate the breasts for a couple hours but then wasn’t sure how to cook them. Thank you for your instant pot recipe and cooking info! Using it as a guide, I basically poured the marinade into the pot on top of the breasts, added some chicken broth, a few Boomer Gold little potatoes from the Little Potato Company and pressure cooked it for 8 minutes (time on brochure that came with my Elite Bistro pot for 2lb breasts) It came out really yummy and I’m saving the delicious broth too so thanks for your help!!

      30. 5 stars
        I just love you. I have had my instant pot in a box since November, its now the end of March. I had no confidence to use this until I watched your video. Thank you, so much!!!!

      31. 5 stars
        Loved the frozen chicken recipe and I immediately did the baked potatoes in the same instant pot without cleaning it. I took out the juice from the chicken and put in 1/2 cup of water, the trivet and potatoes and they were perfect. Thanks so much!

      32. 5 stars
        It was so juicy and cooked well it doesn’t matter the thickness of the chicken, each breast came out perfect. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am saving this in my phone to reference when I make any chicken again.

      33. 5 stars
        It was perfect! This was my first time using my instapot! This was so easy! My whole family couldn’t believe how juicy the chicken was!

        1. YAY! Love that your whole family enjoyed the chicken. Please don’t be shy to leave a comment and star review when you try any of my other instant pot recipes!

      34. 5 stars
        She’s great explaining everything perfect and easy to understand!
        Love these guys!
        I will keep watching all their videos!!

        Thanks
        Diane

      35. 5 stars
        We thought it was absolutely delicious. The cooking was easy and fun. Chicken just pleasantly surprised us thank you
        Betty Ann

      36. 5 stars
        When I first saw this, I used it and haven’t stopped using it since! Best and easiest. I love your recipes (and so does my husband!!!)

      37. 5 stars
        Quick, easy and succulent chicken – My first chicken ‘try’ in the Instant Pot – Very, very pleased with the results!
        n.b. used the trivet.

      38. 5 stars
        I used frozen chicken breasts in your Chicken and Wild Rice recipe over the weekend and they came out just fine They shredded very easy and the soup tasted great. I had to smile when I used my immersion blender (I call it my outboard motor) I remembered your demo in your video how not to go wild with the blender LOL

      39. 5 stars
        Thank you! It was hard to find a recipe where I didn’t need to saute the meat first. I set the pot for 10 minutes and then did natural release for 10 minutes. We had half of the chicken with BBQ sauce tonight and I shredded the rest for Mexican style tomorrow.

          1. Sorry? How is it th same? 10 minutes vs. 20 minutes is a big difference in a pressure cooker.
            I have always overcooked chicken for the sake of having it up to temp. I just found your site and I’m trying your 10 minute recipe. Praying for the great results I’m reading, and still fully cooked. 😀

            1. I don’t talk about 10-20 mins. 10 mins for thinner and 15 mins for thicker. size of chicken breast doesn’t matter but rather thickness.

      40. 5 stars
        So easy and quick! Thanks for a great recipe. I love Instant Pot recipes and I eat A LOT of chicken. I love not having to babysit the chicken and just let it go in the IP. This is a great recipe. I used Mrs. Dash.

        1. You are very welcome, Angie! That’s what I like the most about IP – I don’t have to babysit it LOL. I have enough babysitting in my life haha.

        2. 5 stars
          I’ll be honest, when I first saw the chicken breasts after having removed the lid I thought there was no way that they’d be moist and delicious but I am happy to say that I was SO wrong. This is the only way I’ll be cooking them from now on. Thanks again Olena for another great recipe.

      41. 5 stars
        Juicy and soft chicken breast. I finally got an Instant Pot, and this is a very successful recipe for it. I used cooked chicken for wraps with ranch, arugula and corn. Thank you.

      42. 5 stars
        Thank you so much! This is easy, quick and comes out juicy and flavorful every time. I use this for daily salads. You are THE BEST!

      43. 5 stars
        Your instant pot chicken breast recipe is foolproof. I have tried a few and your cooking time is spot on. Thank you!

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